At LFG, we often refer to peak performance, which is core to our purpose and part of our vision to Encourage leaders, Extract value, and Enrich communities.
Peak performance implies a competitive state. To us it means a 4th business growth stage, where the business achieves a harmonious balance between structure, process and people, where it can set and consistently achieve goals and objectives with a predictable degree of success. Like a reliable vehicle, when you step on the gas and it responds. The business is under control and feels great!
Organizational Health helps drive a company into and remain at peak performance. The Power of Organizational Health comes largely from the alignment of Business and Talent Strategy. Optimizing talent is a dynamic, iterative process synchronized with the evolving strategy as the business navigates its best path, overcomes hurdles and harnesses the full capacity and creatively of the whole organization
At a high level the journey to peak performance and remaining there is about “Awareness” - Self-awareness, and awareness of others, the business, roles and taking ownership; Company awareness, purpose, core values, culture, services, products, process, structure - People, Managers and ultimately Leaders, at all levels leading.
Awareness enables an appreciation of where things are personally and professionally. Diagnostics and data help illuminate an evidence based picture of status quo for an awareness of business drivers health; people, process and structure. Awareness harnessed well leads to improvement throughout the whole company with leaders at every level accountable for team results.
Companies with an appreciation of the ideology of organizational health who gain an evidenced based picture of their organization, implement and practice talent optimization achieve their strategic objectives at least 22% more of the time than those who don't. They reach peak performance significantly increasing profitability, overcoming personal and businesses hurdles delivering on aspirations for greater fulfillment.
Better Business Better Lives
A brief look at the 7 business stages to put peak performance into context.
Each business stage, regardless of industry, or niche presents similar hurdles, and challenges owners and leaderships teams experience -And in the context of aspirations, strategy, talent pool, and access to capital- plan to the uniqueness of their business to overcome and conquer.
A binary outcome, progress or the business fails - running out of funds before establishing and cashing in on market demand - At least 2/3 of entrepreneurs don’t get past here on their first attempt.
With the market now established, we have some clients and cashflow. Sales activities drive the company, seeking rapid growth and focus on increasing clients. Revenue rises exponentially from a low starting point. Adding staff, new offices, locations, maybe extravagant marketing campaigns and higher amounts of discretionary spending. Debt might be taken on to expand - All offer a broad description companies often experience in this fun growth phase.
1st stage growth can be categorized into early, mid and late stages.
Some business owners may choose not to grow too much, or do and pull back or are unable to attain the growth they seek.
There’ are many reasons for this; Growth is possible, and the total addressable market is big and attractive enough, but a belief or mindset around managing employees, control, the need to micromanage, inability to let go, delegate, or develop the leadership team necessary - Or simply being comfortable where they are, have met their aspirations and have no desire to expand.
Whatever the reason, the majority of the 30 million businesses who have made it past viability are either solopreneurs or small “mom and pop” businesses in this stage. The changes necessary to get beyond here, often requires help, either they don’t recognize or are unaware who to ask. Being in early 1st phase of growth, without reliable lead generation, coupled with client attrition can precipitate a slip back into viability, a stutter and fail. Similarly, marketing, and lead generation cannot fix fundamental business flaws, where precipitous falls also await.
At some stage, where the choice has been to continue to grow the business, adding more clients brings complexity and growing issues within the 3 main moving parts of any business - Structure, Process and People. It’s not linear, naturally the business hits ceilings at various growth points unique to each company's capabilities, and talent pool. As growth continues, issues tend to become more impactful. The tactical and short-term band aids that may have held things together before, cannot segue easily into strategic longer-term solutions.
At the beginning of 1st growth the infrastructure; processes and structure are underdeveloped. Often, people in the business compensate with ad-hoc tactical solutions, which can lead to duplication, inefficiency and increasing customer dissatisfaction. Resources are spread too thinly, and unable to contend with surges in volume and resulting complexity. The simple lean business that employed only 10 in the early days where all hands were at the pump, grows to 15 then 35 to 95. Now with layers of management, communication slows down, inaccuracies and issues begin to occur more frequently - Change is necessary which often starts at the top - grow or die. As the leadership goes so goes the business.
How does a company navigate and balance growth and infrastructure alignment to avoid and if not mitigate pain points? Awareness, a balanced management and harmony across the 3 key moving parts of business; Structure, Process and People.
Many clients we work with are moving through this stage; are aware, recognize and embrace the challenges, are making decisions and acting on them. The overarching shift here is from a sales focus to profitability, but not at the expense of revenue!
Achieving sustained profitable growth requires consistent processes, policies and systems and a whole host of grappling with business drivers. These changes can prove to be extremely hard if not viewed through an appropriate lens, and acted upon!
Deciding what to do is easier than implementing - and making it stick is difficult. More personnel, and roles means broader skill-sets, specialty knowledge, experience, diverse behaviors, abilities, and capabilities, management, and competition for talent.
Business is a team sport, attracting the right talent, and ensuring it's optimized demands a cohesive leadership team - individuals must play well collectively as a team placing team results first. Steering through greater complexity and increasing business demands requires alignment of structure, process and systems to scale in control with the right people. A distinct shift occurs - People Structure, and Process evolve to get through this pivotal stage!
A team that has successfully navigated prior stages and is collectively aware - Unlike prior stages in peak performance you know why things are working. The business is in balance structure, process and people are in harmony. Organizational health has got us here. Goals and objectives are consistently set and achieved with a predictable degree of success.
This is clearly where many companies we want to be. All options are available here. In this stage we have probably solved the objectives we set out to accomplish and most definitely put to bed many if not all pain points previously plaguing us. We have time to ourselves and are not a slave to the business, we are business owners, we no longer own a job in a business. We can transition to other things. If desired, and we plan and structure correctly we can transition and sell at highest value.
At a high level it’s a simple misstep, by over doing it and shifting the business too far toward dependence on operationalization! Some of the key behaviors like; creativity, risk-taking, and initiative that underpinned success, decline and the business slides into a more sterile state. Akin to running in sand and not getting far for the effort exerted. A lot of energy is spent, but there’s little sense of progress. Unbeknown, but perhaps too much emphasis on a formula, and micro-management strangling creativity, risk taking and initiative essential to agility, resilience tip the harmonious balance of Talent, Process and Structure off kilter. Signs are good people begin to leave.
The following 2 stages, Free Fall and Last Gasp we can speak to in more detail another time - suffice to say they are not great.
Let’s take a look at a Framework for results. One that can help with awareness, anticipating and navigating these inevitable hurdles, more effectively to outperform the competition.
The Road to Results℠ that matter can be achieved through a simple framework. Those that work with us recognize this framework. One ecosystem, endless possibilities for peak performance. Diagnostics, data, analytics and business tools can be easily deployed and integrated into the fabric of a business for leadership, managers and all employee benefit, aiding each of; Strategy development, Talent Strategy, Business drivers and overall Alignment, for Execution, with data informing insightful decision-making for elevated Results.
To be of value, and help make systematic improvement possible we need to observe what’s relevant, and matters across all business drivers. We require a “barometer” of standards at which highest performing companies achieve statistically proven best in class results. Patented diagnostic technology delivers comparison results for profound insight bringing clarity to all drivers.
Your business like your marketplace is complex. Without a clear picture of organizational health you cannot achieve the performance desired. In business management, a prescription without precise diagnosis is dangerous. Knowledge of your industry, markets, and competitors provides intelligent comparisons that can help a company define, drive, and deliver unique value. Organizational diagnostics provides a bedrock of evidence on which to effectively plan your resources to achieve your goals.
• Evidence - Collect and follow the data; Choices have to be considered in the context of the whole organization
• System-based - Without diagnosis actions may have unintended consequences and can be damaging - like a medical prescription without full diagnosis.
• Create a road map from evidence - A framework encompassing Strategy, Talent,Execution, Results
• Effective use of scarce resources - A framework to optimize resources, dynamically aligning business and people strategy
• Execute what matters, take-action, know it’s executed and delivers expected results with performance systems and evidence for iteration - A framework to implement and measure what matters to drive results that matter
• To support Owners, CEO and leadership teams throughout their business lifecycle to achieve what they want and ensure knowledge transfer - A full set of Diagnostic, Strategic Implementation process, Assessments, People science and business tools - consulting workshops, and coaching to achieve client outcomes. We commit to transfer knowledge and provision of best in class tools to our clients, enabling leaders at all levels to have confidence in the drivers and human component of their business.
Data collection and Assessments across all business drivers including people with Diagnostics that matter are fundamental to a healthy company. Evidence aids awareness, and enables the opportunity for engineered improvement. Business tools facilitate dynamic iteration, and execution leading to greater agility and resilience.
Talent optimization is one of the key services we offer. Delivered partly through an easily integrated SaaS platform with comprehensive knowledge transfer through workshops and ongoing support and needed.
Our broader ecosystem empowers clients to develop and execute a validated roadmap and path to peak performance and remain there.
Through an Initial Consultation we explore our fit, identify aspirations, key challenges and how we might deliver the greatest impact together.